York County's unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, yet some businesses actually are having a hard time filling positions.
Obviously, that's not because they can't hire fast enough.
Surprisingly, given our area's rich manufacturing history, some employers say the younger workforce doesn't have the basic skills needed to cut it in a factory job.
Members of the Manufacturers' Association of South Central Pennsylvania are currently listing openings for machinists, welders, maintenance mechanics, electrical technicians, automation workers, professional engineers and more, according to executive director Michael Smeltzer.
"We're trying to fill those positions, but there's a severe skills gap in the world of manufacturing," he said. "The technology has increased significantly, but the skill of the workforce has not."
To hear Smeltzer describe it, it sounds like the workforce is losing ground.
Never mind the science or engineering backgrounds needed for some positions -- young people looking for jobs today lack basic math skills and can't tell a Phillips-head screwdriver from a flat-head, he said.
Their parents and grandparents -- folks who worked for companies like Caterpillar, Harley-Davidson or Pfaltzgraff -- must be hanging their heads.
There's no way these kids are prepared to replace them as they retire.
Area manufacturers have been sounding this alarm for years now: We need better-trained workers to attract and keep jobs in York County.
To that end, local businesses and organizations are offering apprentice and job-training programs, but it seems not enough young people are participating to keep our local factories humming at capacity.
One issue might be that parents tend to steer their children toward college, rather than job training, after high school.
There's nothing wrong with that; set a goal, and go for it.
But keep in mind many students these days are graduating from college saddled in debt, with no job prospects in their field.
Even with a degree, they might find themselves waiting tables or stocking shelves.
On the other hand, the local manufacturing industry provides 30,000 jobs in the county workforce -- positions that often start with high, five-figure salaries and grow to six-figures over time.
That's something to consider, too -- especially these days.